April 8, 2002

Dennis L. Schornack assumes duties
as U.S. Section chair

At a meeting of the International Joint Commission (IJC) in Washington, D.C. today, Dennis L. Schornack formally assumed the responsibilities of Chair of the IJC’s U.S. Section after taking the oath of office to faithfully and impartially perform the duties assigned under the Boundary Waters Treaty.

Mr. Schornack brings an extensive background in policy development and Great Lakes issues to the IJC. He served as Michigan Governor John Engler's Special Advisor for Strategic Initiatives and, previously, as Director of the Office of Health Care Reform and Policy Development. Mr. Schornack had been on John Engler’s staff since 1984 when he was Executive Assistant for Legislative Affairs to the Senate Majority Leader. Before moving to the Senate with Mr. Engler, Mr. Schornack worked for over five years in the House of Representatives as a Health Policy Analyst. He began his career as a Rehabilitation Counselor with the Greater Lansing Urban League in 1976.

During the early months of the Engler Administration, Mr. Schornack was named Acting Director of the Michigan Department of Public Health and Acting Administrator for Substance Abuse Services, positions he held until full-time administrators could be appointed and confirmed. From 1991-2002, Mr. Schornack served as Michigan’s Commissioner of Low-Level Radioactive Waste, and as a Board Member of the regional Great Lakes Protection Fund. The Great Lakes Protection Fund is an endowed environmental grant-making fund established in 1989 by the eight Great Lakes states to support innovative research. Through his leadership on the Great Lakes Protection Fund, he has pioneered efforts by Great Lakes states to develop new technologies to stem the introduction of alien invasive species to the Great Lakes ecosystem and to restore natural hydrological flows in the basin.

Mr. Schornack graduated from Michigan State University in 1975 with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in biology and speech and hearing science. He also earned an M.A. from Michigan State University in rehabilitation counseling in 1976 and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan in 1979. In 1985, Mr. Schornack entered a unique “on-job, on-campus” doctoral program at the University of Michigan in health policy, which he attended for three years. During the summer of 1993, he was selected to attend the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, at Harvard University.

The International Joint Commission is an international organization, established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve transboundary environmental issues. Mr. Schornack succeeds Thomas L. Baldini, who served as Chair of the U.S. Section from April 1994 through March 2002.

Frank Bevacqua Washington, D.C. (202) 736-9024

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